Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission
DISPROPORTIONATE MINORITY CONTACT COMMITTEE

April 11, 2008
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
James R. Thomson Center, Chicago
Illinois Department of Corrections, Springfield


I. Call to order - Rev. Charles Collins

Meeting called to order at 8:17am.

II. Roll Call

Present: Judge John Payne, Rodney Ahitow, Rev. Charles Collins, Pam Rodriguez, Miguel Millett, Debra Adams, Julie Stremlau, Karrie Rueter, Ted Baugh, Dr. Lewis, Dr. Jeffery Butts, Angela Green.

III. Approval of Minutes

Minutes approved.

V. Review of New DMC Programs: Status Report

Miguel Millett informed the committee that Sauk Village is working hard and trying to address issues and make needed changes. The leadership group called YES meets every Monday. It started with 10 people and now has about 40. They are doing some powerful work. They planned and held a vigil for a 14 year old girl, from the area, who was strangled to death. Over 200 people attended the vigil including the mayor of Sauk Village and several media outlets.

DMC sites have shifted their monitoring focus from contact to confinement. Sites record and collect data across the nine decisions points of the juvenile justice system. Rev Collins reviewed the quarterly report from the South Suburban site. Despite the difficulties of data collection, SSDMC was able to collect and report on information from all nine decision points. They have collected quite a bit of data already from the South Suburbs. Miguel Millett believes this community has vested members at the table as there is excellent attendance at the meetings and he complimented Angela Green on her work.

Macon County is one of the new sites and Macon is being led by Floyd Stewart. Mr. Stewart is working very closely with Lori Brown. Lori Brown is the Coordinator in Peoria.

She has assisted Mr. Stewart in learning Best Practices, etc. Macon County is in the process and moving slowly. They are showing utilization of best practices and the Community Mapping process. Macon County has contracted with the Burns Institute to provide first year technical assistance.

Peoria had success with certain software for reports, gathering reports towards the community mapping process. Macon should increase their technology for similar results. Macon is in the process of developing community board members, community outreach, establishing new strategies towards reducing DMC.

Each site was given 75 thousand for their first year. Macon's program did not start until later in the year. They have the money for the full amount of an 8 month period. All three sites have full amount for an 8 mo. Period.

Rev. Collins commented that it is going well. The Macon county States Attorney is the champion and really pushing this process. Karrie Rueter added that there are also very good judges behind this initiative in Macon County.

Pam Rodriquez asked if Macon would be able to spend the money in the decreased time period. Rev. Collins stated the Executive Committee met and believes they can get the money spent and will be addressing these issues. Karrie Rueter stated that the committee needs to monitor and ensure the money is spent.

Dr. Lewis added that Englewood is also doing the mapping process. Miguel Millett attended the first advisory DMC meeting and this was a chance to bring different expertise together. Dr. Lewis indicated there are many community based meetings. These meetings are taking place and they are letting people know what is available. The data continues to be collected. In Englewood and Lawndale it is really of benefit to have the police support the program and they are really into the data piece of the project. A number of community based meetings have taken place.

Rev. Collins stated that the Englewood community has changed. The climate has changed and become unstable with the changes over the years. He is thankful that the Prevention people feel Englewood is a good target. Dr. Lewis stated that part of transition process is developing relationships with businesses that will assist kids in getting jobs, etc. The Advisory Board and the community need to blend and try different approaches.

Pam Rodriguez asked if there is any involvement from the Juvenile Justice Coalition. They are not. There are community organizations that are very active in the Englewood community. The Advisory Committee has blended with other groups. They are convening community folks. There was a recommendation to get some Juvenile Justice involvement. Dr. Lewis is working with the court, the parents and the community. The community is rebuilding up and property is hard to get. Miguel Millett believes this is having an affect on the South Suburbs and shifting is beginning. Englewood real estate is getting very expensive. There has been a population shift to these suburban areas. The increase of delinquency is not due to an increase in crime but due to an increase of population. They are working collaboratively with the courts, focus group reviews and the parents. Dr. Lewis stated the Systems approach is a great venture and they appreciate the opportunity.

Miguel Millett reported on Peoria. The Peace Keeping initiative has shown a 25% reduction of violence in Peoria. It has been successful and it should be expanded into more schools. An evaluation should be completed to determine which schools should be used. Mr. Millett stated he was impressed with the community collaboration. Teachers and children were trained. The Two Tier warrant process has been proposed, but not yet approved. There was an issue with failure to appear. Implementation of an automated system to call and contact those needing to appear caused a 15% improvement overall on failure to appear.

Rev. Collins believes that using numbers to make things successful gives an altered view. The judges in the area are on board but the States Attorney is not. Peoria has JDAI, Redeploy, DMC and Models for Change. They have four initiatives. It has not been decided what application they are going to submit. They need to dig deeper and determine what direction they ought to be going to move forward in the DMC initiative. Karrie Rueter added that Peoria is likely to get money from Macarthur Foundation for Mental Health. She asked what strategies have been developed in dealing with the States Attorney. Rev. Collins is not giving up, this is ongoing issue. It is a process and they have not given up. Pam Rodriguez added that the community needs to be involved as the community members are the voters and this is what will push the elected officials to get on board.

Miguel Millett talked about St. Clair County. They recently did two presentations with the SIU School of Social Work to educate on the DMC process. They did a lot of work with the youth with focus groups in targeted areas. Mr. Baugh and Miguel recently discussed the DMC and Truancy correlation. The Truancy Review Board in St. Clair met with the Regional Office of Education to work toward developing preventative measures in involvement in the Juvenile Justice System. They are monitoring the use of the Risk Assessment Screening Instrument. Mr. Baugh is meeting with the Juvenile Justice stakeholders on a bimonthly basis in order to make DMC a permanent part of juvenile programming in St. Clair County.

Mr. Baugh stated they had been through the Burns Process and it is excellent. It indicates areas in the system that needs to be addressed. They were able to expand their day and evening reporting hours. They developed a more objective instrument. They were able to address the warrant problems in St. Clair County. The warrant problems accounted for 50% of kids being detained. Lastly, they established a court liaison which is in the court all the time. This really gives the judge a lot of flexibility when dealing with the disposition of the youth. They can ascertain what kind of services will be needed and the liaison can work with the States Attorney and others prior to going to court and then make the best recommendations. Mr. Baugh agrees with Rev. Collins in that the work of DMC is about digging deeper. Even though we have reduced our numbers tremendously in St. Clair County the disproportion still exists. We needed to look at why kids are coming in the door in the first place. We focused our attention on East St. Louis and Cahokia and the recent population migration which accounted for 40% of all African American kids coming in the system.

We partnered with the Regional Office of Education to look at chronic truancy rate. When you look at those two areas it is even more disproportionate towards African Americans than the numbers found in the Juvenile Justice system. We need to look at those indicators, especially truancy, as it is the leading indicator with involvement to juvenile delinquency. We partnered with SIU School of Social Work and the School of Psychology so we can address mental health issues and behavior issues. The issues of those children whom were responding with violence should have been addressed within the school before they got into the system. We found 15 and 16 year old kids who were reading at a second grade level. We failed these kids who cannot read from the correct level. We continue to work.

Miguel Millett reported on Lawndale. Lawndale has done a lot of work. They have many initiatives they have developed. Young fatherhood, Bridges to Manhood are several of them. It helps to develop parenting skills with fathers. They are sponsoring employment workshops, job fairs, assisting in completing resumes, making career decisions, etc. It is evident that kids who are unemployed with no economic means become delinquent. There is a DMC parent group that meets twice a month to address DMC and how to work together collectively to reduce DMC. There are warrant issue strategies and no probation officers. Make an effort to ensure that parole officer do what they are supposed to do and increase the kids accountability. There is a retreat held. The most recent retreat was the third annual retreat. They help develop speaking skills and leadership skills. They try to nurture relationships with the police with stellar programs from the DMC initiative. The group will facilitate the other programs such as internships and employment opportunities. There are active parent groups with drug prevention programs. Lawndale has one of the highest referral rates for drug offenses. Rev. Collins will email out the quarterly reports for the Commission.

Dr. Butts reviewed and explained the Power Point Presentation for the Survey which started 6-8 months ago. They wanted to find out what is the perception of DMC and Juvenile Justice in areas throughout the state that have DMC funding (Peoria and South Suburban Cook County) as well as areas that are not funded (Winnebago County). The surveys will track and possibly evaluate the impact of DMC reduction interventions. There is a live website with an intro of what this is and what the survey does with instructions. All legal items must be covered and consent is needed to do the survey.

Identification of the person taking the survey is by age, sex, race, occupation, and experience. New employees will have different opinions than older workers. For example, a States Attorney will answer differently than an 19 year old college student. Some of these questions were made up. Some questions have changed because of the test auditors.

With repeated measures you could track that over time and redesign the sample every time. There is a need to reenlist people yearly as the community stakeholders constantly change. Targeted individuals change.

DMC board members can use this and it can survey parole officers through email. Survey was will be implemented during the summer and completed in December. in There was a motion to approve the amendment implementation of the BI. Rev. Collins requested a motion. Rodney Ahitow motioned and Pam Rodriguez seconded. MOTION PASSED

VII. New State DMC Coordinator Trainings

Burns Institute is sponsoring a DMC Training in San Francisco in May. Miguel will attend this conference to become familiar with the Burns model. Rev. Collins asked if the committee had to vote on approving this training. In the past, approval was not needed for the Statewide Coordinator. Rev. Collins requested a response of the committee and all were in favor of the training. MOTION PASSED.

VIII. Site Quarterly Meetings

Site Coordinator Quarterly Meeting will take place April 23rd in Peoria, hosted by Lori Brown. Will discuss quarterly report, will review data collection, strategies and initiation of all DMC programs.

IX. Models for Change DMC Meetings

Miguel Millett attended a Models for Change DMC meeting. Dr. Lewis and Lori Brown were there. We discussed a Collaboration Survey to determine general beliefs and attitudes about DMC. If they were aware of what DMC is, etc. A theme of survey showed a discrepancy in how the minorities and whites were treated within the Juvenile Justice system. Therefore it is obvious we still need to do a lot of work. One of the sites with funding is 2nd Circuit, Peoria and Karrie Rueter said there were one or two more. Currently, Macon is looking at collaboration.

Pam Rodriguez has attended some of these meetings and really feels it is important to have representation. It seems that the McArthur Foundation is trying to figure out their role. Pam thinks we need to talk and think about what that relationship will be. Encourage them to address the issues that surround data collection and determine what assistance is needed.

Rev. Collins stated a decision on what the Commission will provide is needed. A written proposal was offered but was never processed. There is a combined interest. We need to emphasize the interest in data collection.

Angela Green has been successful with the acquisition of the data. The report was able to capture for the South suburbs the act of building relationships. Ms. Green has been involved since the beginning. The community has changed. Now, 50% of the new residents are under the age of 18. They were able to establish a new group as a result of a murdered student in Sauk Village. SSDMC's advisory board has been effective.

X. New business

Pam Rodriguez stated the kids getting murdered in Chicago are African American and asked if we, as the commission, should do something about this.

Miguel Millett added that this is a problem that crosses many areas. It has to do with DMC, education and employment. We need to address what is going on in these schools. Murders obviously get attention. Demonstration of violence occurs during focus groups and usually things occur before the really bad things happen. We need to address the problems earlier. Rev. Collins believes many of the problems are due to the gaps in services.

XI. Adjourn

Meeting adjourned at 9:59am.